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A Romantic Time in Palm Cove

There isn’t really much anything to say about this for the place itself really tells that you will have a very romantic time with you and your love one. If you ever are looking for a place to have a date, honeymoon or just simply hang out with your love and spend a romantic time together, then you have just stopped at the right place.

Why not check out Palm Cove and for sure, your romantic vacation will be filled with fun, enjoyment, and most of all, romance.

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Palm Cove Beach. Picture: Paula Shearer Source: National Features

palm cove

Peppers Resort, Palm Cove. Picture: Supplied Source: National Features

CAIRNS is where the tourists go to holiday, but Palm Cove is where savvy locals go, because they’re wised up to all its advantages. It’s only 20 minutes north of Cairns, but a world away from the hustle and bustle of that big touristy city.

Palm Cove is quieter, more elegant, less crowded and more relaxed, and if you do need to visit the markets or all the attractions that Cairns undoubtedly has to offer, you can use free door-to-door shuttle bus services. So you can come home in the evening to walk along the beautiful foreshore, the moon cutting a silver path through the lapping waves, Double Island and its accompanying reefs looming mysteriously on the horizon.

And then you can have dinner, in one of the best dining strips in the tropics. Or do the typical Australian thing and take fish and chips onto the grassy strip along the beach. It may not be as romantic as eating in one of the posh eateries, but with a bottle of icy dry white and a light tropical breeze it can be one of life’s great experiences and you won’t find crowds of hoons muscling on your territory.

There’s a huge choice of accommodation places, but if you can, get something along the ocean-facing strip, Williams Esplanade. Among my favourite hotels in Palm Cove is Peppers Beach Club and Spa, for all kinds of reasons, the chief of which is the atmosphere. It’s so gracious with its cool white colonial exterior, the kind of place you’d expect to find Jay Gatsby and his friends very thirties, but with all mod cons.

And although I’m not the person to hang around the swimming pool in a resort, these ones are very attractive, all three of them offering a different kind of experience. Serious swimmers can do serious laps in the formal pool, but for real relaxation, the huge lagoon pool has sandy beaches and a swim-up bar, to keep everyone in the family happy.

But my favourite is the private secluded rainforest serenity pool, which is like a river wandering through rocks and cool tropical vegetation, including the spectacular jade vine. This pool is for the exclusive use of guests in the Serenity Wing, which has private access to the river/pool, your own entertainment area, and a gas barbecue on the balcony.

It’s not that I dislike children, mind you, but when your own are grown up other people’s can be a bit of an intrusion on a holiday, and that’s another reason that I like Peppers, because it’s family-friendly without being anything like a full-on family holiday camp.

I could spent all my time just lazing around the resort and shopping for Aboriginal art at Jungara Gallery a block or two along Williams Esplanade, and its slightly less expensive Jama Dreaming in the same block, where I bought a long strand of hand-carved and painted wood and seed beads made by the women of the Western Desert.

But we did venture out of town once, to drive a little further north to the Tully River and Mossman, where my friend bravely went white-water rafting on the river while I had a one-on-one painting lesson in Mossman from Binna Swindley at the Janbal Gallery.

This opened my eyes in more ways than one, because as well as hearing Binna’s dreaming stories and something of his Kuku Yalanji culture, I learned that dot painting is not as easy as you might think. The materials may be basic, just a handful of bamboo skewers and some pots of acrylic paint, but to design a decent pattern on a boomerang or a sheet of canvas, and then to get those dots exactly the right size, takes more skill than I could manage.

“Little dots with the pointy end, and big dots with the flat end” should have helped, but when I compared my out-of-kilter tortoise to Binna’s exquisite barramundi boomerang, I felt like slinking away. But he’s such a lovely man that I soon got over my shame, and spent more time with him than I had intended, watching him doing his own large paintings and hearing the stories behind them. This would be a unique experience for a family, too, because both children and adults can learn to respect Aboriginal culture and fall under the spell of this mesmerizing man.

But I had a wet, exhausted, slightly scraped and exhilarated friend to pick up, who said white water rafting was the best thing he’d ever done. But he is a Pom, after all, who doesn’t get out much except when he comes to Australia, so although I don’t agree with him about extreme sports, at least he’s doing his bit for the tourist industry.

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GETTING THERE Palm Cove is 20 minutes north of Cairns, and 30 minutes south of Port Douglas. There are daily flights by Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Blue to Cairns airport from all major Australian cities. Shuttle buses operate from the airport to Palm Cove, or hire a car or take a limousine transfer. Details and prices on www.palmcoveaustralia.com.

STAYING THERE Peppers Beach Club & Spa, 123 Williams Esplanade, Palm Cove 4879. Reservations telephone 1300 663 786, general enquiries 07 4059 9200, email via website, www.peppers.com.au/beach/club/spa Summer special rates from $218 per night in a lagoon spa room two nights minimum, room only. See website for other deals.

DOING THERE relaxing on a quiet non-surfing beach (stinger nets in summer), trips to Daintree Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef, fine dining and shopping. For more ideas about things to do, see www.palmcoveaustralia.com. Janbal Gallery Mossman, www.janbalgallery.com.au

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